Pleasant Valley 2, W.D.M. Dowling Catholic 0 (8 innings)
FORT DODGE, Ia. — Chloe Miller started last year’s state softball tournament with a homer against Dowling Catholic. On Tuesday, she ended one the same way.
Miller ended a scoreless tie by hitting a two-run game-ending blast in Pleasant Valley’s 2-0 eight-inning win over the Maroons in a Class 5-A quarterfinal at Rogers Sports Complex.
A year ago, she led off the Dowling game with a solo homer. She had six RBI in the 12-2 win.
“I was speechless,” said Miller, who launched Tuesday’s game-winner over the center field fence. “I came in, I hit it, and that was it.”
Lexi Spelhaug held Dowling to two hits. Demi Plathe threw a four-hitter in the loss.
Dowling played one of its strongest defensive games of the season. The Maroons turned two double plays, one to help end a bases-loaded jam with none out in the bottom of the seventh inning.
“We worked hard at defense the last couple of weeks in practice,” Dowling catcher Emily Aller said.
Coach Matt Murillo said his team hung in against a No. 5-ranked foe.
“Demi pitched a good game and our defense stepped up,” Murillo said.
Dowling fell to 25-16. The Maroons enter consolation play Wednesday.
Plathe and Aller are the only seniors on the team. But the players bonded together during the season.
“We just became almost like sisters with each other, we don’t really look at age,” Aller said.
Miller clutched the home run ball as she walked out of the dugout. It was her 13th homer this season.
She was asked what she planned to do with her latest state tournament home run souvenir.
“I’ll put it with the other ball,” Miller said.
Dowling………000 000 00–0 2 2
Pleasant Valley….000 000 02–2 4 0
Leading hitters–P: Reynolds 2×3. W–Spelhaug. L–D.Plathe. HR–P: Miller.